Homer Bailey took the mound for the first game of the season for the Bats. He pitched well enough to get the win, but received no offensive support. Bailey went 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits, a walk, and 2 strikeouts. The lone run he allowed was a solo homerun given up in the 4th inning. Gary Majewski proved that sending him to AAA was the right move, despite his complaints of not seeing enough innings in spring training as he allowed a run on 2 hits in his lone inning of relief.
Offensively the Bats struggled, only catcher Ryan Hanigan mustered multiple hits, going 2-3 with 2 singles.
It was a great start of the season for 3b Michael Griffin. In 4 at-bats, Griffin had a single, double, scored a run, and drove in 2. He also stole 2 bases batting in the #3 slot. Last season in Chattanooga, Griffin hit .327/.365/.491. He had equally impressive numbers in Sarasota prior to being called up to Chattanooga.
Daryl Thompson picked up the win for the Lookouts. Thompson pitched 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 5. Thompson spent most of last season in Sarasota, recording a 9-5 record and 3.77 ERA in 22 starts. Thompson was acquired by the Reds in “The Trade” with Washington in 2006.
3b Juan Francisco had an even better start to the 2008 season than Griffin had. Francisco went 4-5 with 3 doubles and 3 runs scored. His OPS is a record setting 2.200 for the season! Last season in Dayton he hit .268/.301/.463 with 25 homers and 90 rbis. Chris Heisey went 2-3 in the game, with a double and 3 rbis. Heisey also stole a base. SS Chris Valaika hit his first homerun of the season, in a 1-5 game.
Michael McKennon went 1-4 in the game, and his triple and rbi were about the only significant occurences offensively for the Dragons. McKennon was the 25th round draft pick by the Reds in the 2006 draft. He hit .286/.331./502 last season in Billings.
The Reds 19th round draft pick in last year’s draft, Raymond Jeffords pitched 2 perfect outs in the 9th, striking out both batters he faced. Jeffords struggled with control last season, walking 27 batters in 23.2 innings pitched. He did strike out 33 over that same span.